Yukon MP Ryan Leef has a new job description. Along with his regular duties as the territory’s member of Parliament, Leef is the new chair of the government’s northern caucus.
“Essentially, I’m now responsible for organizing the group and the agenda items, the meeting times and stuff. It’s a small group, small but mighty,” he said.
The northern caucus includes Leef, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Yukon Senator Dan Lang and Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson.
Senator Patterson was the previous chair.
The N.W.T. isn’t part of the northern caucus because it has an NDP MP, Dennis Bevington, and a Liberal senator, Nick Sibbeston.
“We meet on a weekly basis to talk about pan-territorial issues. We each have an appreciation for what’s going on in our territories. We combine common themes and advice to the prime minister and the federal ministers to enhance their understanding of the North,” Leef said.
The group isn’t directly connected to the Arctic Council, but Aglukkaq chairs that group. Being able to discuss Yukon and northern issues with her means she can forward concerns to the Arctic Council, said Leef.